KEENE VALLEY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Adirondack Park’s authority on invasive plants and the impact they can cause is getting ready for the new year. This week, the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program announced the upcoming start of its 2023 surveying and training season.

APIPP’s Adirondack Forest Pest Hunters survey season for hemlock woolly adelgid begins on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The program will begin with a 10 a.m. Zoom webinar to educate first-timers on hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive species that feeds on hemlock branches and can cause die-off for a crucial Adirondack tree. Registration is open now for the event.

The training will equip surveyors with everything they need to become Forest Pest Hunters. Hunters seek out signs of pests and pathogenic issues across the Adirondack Park, to get a better idea of what threats are where. It’s a recent program, starting in 2021. Since then, surveyors have investigated more than 100 miles of trail, making more than 600 observations related to invasive species.

The Forest Pest Hunter program is a joint operation by a long list of groups involved in Adirondack conservation. In addition to APIPP, groups involved include the Adirondack Mountain Club, Capital Region PRISM, Lake George Land Conservancy, NYS iMapInvasives, NYS Hemlock Initiative, AuSable River Association, and Champlain Area Trails.

APIPP’s work reaches the water, as well as land. The organization is hosting a roundtable for partners on the current state of aquatic invasive species on Wednesday, Feb. 8; followed by one on the state of land-based species on Thursday, Feb. 9.